Skip Navigation
Best Practice

Best Practices for Stewardship Letter Writing

Stewarding Donors
| 5 minutes to read
Last Updated: 03-02-2022


Donor stewardship is about showing appreciation for donors. This outlines the best way to do that in the context of a letter.

Consider a personalized opening.

This can work well with the right donor, so don’t be afraid to be creative. Perhaps “You made my day!” instead of traditional openers like “Thank you for…” Doing this is a good way to capture someone’s attention and make them feel special by saying, “We simply couldn’t have done this without you.”

Let your donor know they are part of something important.

Remind them that they are part of a larger community doing remarkable things and changing lives. Doing this can help celebrate the positive feelings of generosity associated with giving to a cause bigger than themselves.

Illustrate their impact.

Show the value of their gift by explaining the impact it will have and how their contribution will help. This will mean a lot (and possibly encourage further giving without having to make another ask).

Share even small progress.

Show donors that they matter regardless of the amount they’ve donated. Take a moment to explain how their gift is instigating positive change and helping to advance the UW.

Thank them again.

It never hurts to thank them twice. Your first “thank you” was for their previous action of donating. Aim this “thank you” toward the future: express your gratitude to them for being part of your community and part of something special, and tell them that you look forward to your work together.

Below is a sample stewardship letter from the chancellor’s office that can serve as a jumping-off point for you as you write your own, personalized thank-you letters.